If you read my posts (THANK YOU!), you have probably noticed that I end them with a little saying “keep on keepin’ on”. At face value, it’s a statement that makes sense, we’ve digested the concept in the past, it means, simply, persevere.
The reason I write it is from a mentor I had back when I was in high school. When I was a teenager, I was part of a program called Upward Bound, which helped low-income high school students reach their educational and college-based aspirations. The program did more than that for me – it gave me a sense of belonging and a place that I felt was home. I now work for the program, hopefully imparting some of the same messages and giving back some of the help that I got throughout the years.
The director of the program, for many years, used to write as a signature, “Keep on keepin’ on”. Yes, as the baseline mentality, it means to progress forward in spite of the challenges. This mentor had done this her entire life, from a rough childhood, discrimination within her lifetime, and fighting every step of the way. She was a true model of what it meant to go beyond. So often, it seems easier to give up, go the easy route, or pass by an opportunity because of fear, frustration, failure, or others holding us down. She was not the kind of person to let that happen, and through her journey, she imparted that wisdom onto others.
I never really thought about the message in a profound way until I started this blog, and at the end of one of the entires thought, “keep on keepin’ on”, a sign of motivation for others to progress through their own journeys as they read about mine. I feel like I have had a lot of those moments in the last year and a half. Moments of weakness, moments where going to the gym seemed to be more than the feat of getting in the car, moments when eating piles of food would make me feel better, and moments when the inevitable isolation of weight loss surrounded me. Although I have found many victories over this journey, there have been dark times where I did not think I could make it. Even now, these thoughts and actions creep into my mind at times, but luckily I have placed systems in my life that allow me to keep pushing forth. I really feel like CrossFit has become one of those systems that makes me get out of bed and push myself beyond where I thought I could go.
So, “Keep on keepin’ on” is not just a simple sentiment that says “you can do it”, or “push yourself”, it’s a philosophy and mindset of covering the span of your future. It’s about seeing your goals and not giving up on yourself, not letting the dark moments overshadow the greatness that is within and allows you to do just 1 more pushup or run for 1 more minute and then once that is over, you say, “wait, maybe I can do another”. We have to constantly prove to ourselves that we have the ability to surpass our doubts, our fears, our past failures, and our perceived limitations. Obviously, we all have legitimate barriers and limitations, but to keep going forth to defy those limitations will give a new sense of being.
Keep on keepin’ on is about persistance, goals, and achievement, but also that defiance that will allow us to surpass ourselves in a way we never thought possible.
so…. Keep on keepin’ on.